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Essential Tips for Good Boating Etiquette

 

Just as there is etiquette around many things in life (such as how to act when dining out in a fine restaurant), knowing how to conduct yourself when boating is key. This is not just for commercial boats either – recreational sailing also has etiquette rules to abide by. These customary codes of acceptable behaviour not only keep you and other people/vessels safe but also stop you upsetting people when out having fun.

But what are the most essential tips around boating etiquette to know about?

Prepare kit and boat before launch time

Many people assume correct boating behaviour starts once you are on the water – but this is not true. Good etiquette starts before you set sail and whilst still in dock. A good tip here is preparing your boat and equipment – before you get in position to launch off. Doing all this whilst in a position to launch is inconsiderate to fellow sailors and will annoy people.

Don’t cause waves

Although this is an old saying, it is literally something to avoid when boating. The quickest way to create the wrong impression is making huge waves which impact other boats, anglers or swimmers as you go. As well as being inconsiderate, creating massive waves could also prove dangerous to those who cannot handle them. A good idea is staying at least 200 feet from shore/other vessels.

Keep the music down

Heading out on a boat is all about having fun and relaxing. Music can play a big part here but you should remember to keep the volume at a sensible level. Sound is actually amplified over water, so having it too loud could really hack off anyone nearby.

Don’t throw rubbish overboard

Another top boating etiquette tip is not throwing rubbish overboard. Although this might seem pretty obvious, the shorelines are still full of litter that was originally tossed into the sea from a boat. You should simply pack up any rubbish you create on the way back and throw it away properly when back on land.

Be polite to others

Getting out on the waves is all about having fun and becoming part of the boating community. A great way to achieve this is simply giving a small wave when you pass another vessel. This will not only make you feel great but is seen as good manners too.

Check your speed

Anyone who chooses to take charge of a boat needs to know the speed limit of the body of water they are on. In addition, you should also check if the water you are sailing on has a slow, no-wake restriction. Being aware of this is not just good manners but also keeps you out of trouble with the authorities.

It also means you do not end up going too fast and damaging property you are then liable for. It is also essential for those in control of a boat to know waterway markers and navigation rules. This will help you to stay safe when sailing and avoid crashing into other boats.

Don’t hang around when finished fuelling

As with cars, all boats need fuel to work. Good etiquette in this area includes moving out of the way once you have fuelled and paid. Even if you need to buy additional supplies after, do not hang around and block other boats from getting fuel.

Mooring and anchoring

Good boating etiquette dictates that you should always move into mooring or anchoring areas at slow speeds. This makes collisions less likely and means you will not create waves to disrupt already anchored/moored boats.

Know the safety rules of your boat

If you are captain, it is key to know the safety rules of your craft and communicate them to any passengers before setting sail. This is not just good manners but also keeps everyone secure out on the water. On top of this, it is good etiquette to have the right kit you need to meet these safety guidelines (i.e. enough lifejackets for everyone).

Luxury powerboat training with Duck 2 Water

As the above shows, there are some easy to remember general etiquette tips when sailing. While these are great starting points, it is best to get some hand’s on training before taking a boat out to sea. If you fancy learning how to sail a boat safely, our powerboat training courses can help. Get in touch on 02380339996 for more details.